Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner and Frank O’Hara

As I mentioned a few days ago, the New York Times recently discussed the impact the television show Mad Men has had on Frank O’Hara reputation — or, more precisely, on O’Hara’s sales figures.

In today’s New York Times Book Review, there is an interview with Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, about his reading habits, literary loves, and influences.

Not surprisingly, when asked to name some books which have informed his approach to Mad Men, Weiner mentions John Cheever’s stories and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.  But he also includes “the work of Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg” in his list of important influences on the show.

Given the much-discussed use of O’Hara’s poetry in season 2, this isn’t so surprising either. But it’s still nice to see that Mad Men‘s nod to O’Hara wasn’t just a one-time thing. Apparently Weiner counts O’Hara’s work, like Ginsberg’s or Cheever’s, as an important source for the show’s sensibility and themes.


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